Not Just for Kids

Vol. 8, No. 38
Sept. 21-27, 2000
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Save the Terps!

The University of Maryland’s mascot, the diamondback terrapin, is also Maryland’s state reptile — and it needs our help.

As with its cousin the sea turtle, our own diamondback terrapin is having a tough time these days. The once plentiful terrapin was hunted for its meat. Turtle soup was a favorite meal for early settlers.

Today turtles face other problems like beachfront development. The stones homeowners use to protect their property from erosion pose a big problem for a diamondback female trying to lay her eggs. Many times she gets stuck between rocks while trying to get to shore, and often the tiny babies get stuck trying to reach the water.

Diamondbacks live and breed in clean salt marshes. We can help them by cleaning up wetland areas and properly disposing of trash and recycling.

Let’s help keep the terps around for many centuries to come.

There are five different kinds of sea turtles along the Atlantic coast

Match each turtle with its description

Small turtle with beautiful, dark markings on its shell.

Rubbery leather-like shell, the largest sea turtle.

Very large head compared to its body; sailors thought it looked like a log.

My Vacation With a Turtle

When Mom told us we were going to go camping on a deserted island to look for nesting loggerhead sea turtles, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I had an idea it would be fun.

We left for North Carolina at 8:00am, it sure was a long drive. When we finally got there, we grabbed our camping stuff and took a ferry over to Bear Island. Once we reached land, we had to walk for what seemed like a mile to the beach and then another half mile to our camp site. Here we met a group of wonderful people all waiting for an exciting night and hoping to see a turtle.

First, we walked to the visitors’ center where we learned about loggerhead sea turtles. Many species of sea turtles are endangered. We learned that we all needed a piece of red cellophane over our flashlights so that we would not scare the turtles. The reason for this is that turtles can’t see red light, so we didn’t disturb them. Still, if we are lucky enough to see a turtle, all lights went out except for the leaders’.

After getting on some warm clothes, we set off down the beach hunting for turtles. It took a long time, but finally we heard there was a female turtle away down the beach so we walked and walked and then we saw her. She was up close to the sand dunes laying her eggs. We stayed back behind her and watched. The eggs were like ping-pong balls but leathery, so they wouldn’t break when they dropped into the hole in the sand. After she was done laying, she covered up the hole with sand and headed back down to the ocean. We followed along and watched her go back into the water. It was really cool!

The days were fun, too. We went swimming a lot; the water felt great just the right temperature. We also played games and climbed on the sand dunes. One day someone found a coconut that had washed up on the beach. All the kids took turns trying to crack it open. When we did we found out that it was rotten, the smell was really bad. In town, we ate our meals and drank ice cream sodas and sweet iced tea. It was a real treat

I’m glad we went on this trip. I learned a lot about sea turtles and am happy to be one of the few people lucky enough to see one nesting. I can help these turtles when I’m at home by picking up trash on the beach and telling other people about how important it is to protect them.

I would love to do this again. We really had a wonderful vacation.

— by Sarah Brewer


What is the longest word you can make using the letters in: NORTH CAROLINA

A nine-letter word is the longest so far. See if you can do that or better. Send your words to us.

Bay Weekly Kids Page
PO Box 358
Deale, MD 20751

Kids' Calendar

Three Pigs and One Bad Wolf
Sat. Sept. 23 (11:30am) - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? The three little pigs, that’s who. The 2000 Children’s Theater presents The Three Little Pigs. Come see how these pigs learn some lessons and gain some courage, too. All Ages. Chesapeake Music Hall, Annapolis: $9.50. rsvp:

Wiggle, Wiggle Worm
Sept. 24 (1pm) -Goin’ on a worm walk. Get dirty and discover creepy crawly creatures under your feet. Ages 6-12. Kinder Farm Park, Millersville. rsvp: 410/222-6115.

Natural Art Design
Tues. Sept 23 (10:30am)-Leaves, paint and other things from nature help you create your own tote bag. Learn stenciling the natural way. Ages 10+. Tawes Garden, Annapolis $8. 410/260-8189.

Spider Baskets
Tues Sept. 26 (10:30-Noon)-Spiders don’t just spin webs, they make baskets, too. Go on a spider hike and find out what they carry in them. Make a craft and enjoy a story about our friend, the spider. Special treats too. Bring a bag lunch Ages 3-5. Kings Landing Park, Huntingtown: $3. rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly